Devils vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes Make Coaching Move

Monday, 05.5.2014 / 3:30 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Make Coaching Move
Looking for a fresh start behind the bench, Canes GM Ron Francis relieved Muller, Lewis and MacLean of their coaching duties.


The Carolina Hurricanes will have new faces behind the bench beginning in the 2014-15 season.

Michael Smith
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Head coach Kirk Muller and assistant coaches Dave Lewis and John MacLean were relieved of their duties on Monday, a week after Ron Francis assumed his new role of executive vice president and general manager.

“I just felt at this point going forward we needed a fresh start,” Francis said.

Additionally, Greg Stefan, who served as the team’s goaltending coach, was reassigned to the pro scouting department. Assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour has been retained. Muller, a first-time NHL head coach, guided the Canes to an 80-80-27 record over three seasons.

The team will now begin the hunt for who will serve as the franchise’s 13th head coach and fourth in that position since 1997.

“It would be an open search at this point,” Francis said. “We’ll start with a few names on a list.

“I’ve already had some calls and emails today from people wanting to throw their name in the hat, so I think [position is] very attractive.”

Stopping short of listing potential candidates, Francis outlined the vision he had for who will become the new bench boss. Ideally, he said, the Canes will have someone in place by the 2014 NHL Draft, slated for June 27 and 28 in Philadelphia.

“The biggest thing I’m looking for is a guy that’s a teacher,” he said. “You have to be accountable as a player, and having someone in that position that holds them accountable wouldn’t be a bad thing.”

Though Brind’Amour was kept in the fold, Francis said the new head coach would have some flexibility in filling out his staff.

“Roddy really didn’t have, in my estimation, a prominent role on this staff,” he said. “I felt Roddy had a lot more to offer, which is why I kept him on board.”

With changes already made in the front office and behind the bench, could further alterations be made to the roster? That’s what Francis intends to evaluate in the coming weeks.

“At the end of the day, this, in no way shape or form, takes players off the hook. They still have to be accountable for their actions and how they play,” he said. “I think there has to be a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, as well, to turn this thing around.”

With that said, Francis noted he wouldn’t make a deal for the sake of unloading a player or a contract; it would have to be a move that made the team better.

“I think there are good pieces in the locker room,” he said. “Talent-wise, I think we’re capable of competing.”

As Francis begins his second week as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Canes, he will continue to assess every aspect of the organization from the top down, including the future of the coaching staff in Charlotte and the development process of players in the system.

“Just because we change coaches doesn’t mean that everything is status quo in the locker room,” Francis said. “We do need to evaluate that.

“We are looking at everything,” he continued. “We do have more meetings starting tomorrow morning going forward to look at all different facets of the organization from how we draft to what type of players we draft to our make-up and how we develop and so on.”



SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62